The secret of a great charity golf day…

01 Jan 2021  |   Michelle Baker

After two years of social restrictions, a day of fun with friends is up there on people’s lists of priorities. Team this with the pure joy of a round of golf, on a beautiful course, for a great cause, it all adds up to something special, and an event the Melanoma Fund was proud to be a part of.

Slip! Slap! Swing! in September was billed to be the most ‘entertaining golf day of the year’, a claim we wouldn’t have dared make, unless we felt sure we could back it up. However, with this being our first golf day, how was it done, and how did it go?

Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund explains the event and how when it comes to making a golf day special, it’s all in the personal touch.

“Organising a golf day as a non-player was always going to be a steep learning curve, however, with an open-minded approach, it actually turned out to be advantageous. To start out, when it comes to golf, it gets technical, so getting good advice is key.

I was fortunate enough to have the ear of an ex-Ryder Cup winner, support from the world’s greatest trick shot artist, and advice from a handful of generous industry professionals, all keen to help, for the love of the game, and to support a good cause.

Skin checks

The day was held in support of the Melanoma Fund a charity that runs skin cancer prevention campaigns, raising awareness of the importance of sun protection and skin checking to all those who love an outdoor lifestyle.  It was important to not only showcase what we do, especially with our golf campaign but also to get everyone involved with our objectives, to make the cause relevant.

We invited Dr Elizabeth Blakeway Manning and Dr Jan von der Werth to provide skin check appointments throughout the day and offer advice on skin health and sun protection routines on the golf course. They were a great team, each offering a unique perspective, and both also golfers themselves.

Says Dr von der Werth; “About 25% of the people I saw had significant skin lesions. Two had atypical naevi that I recommended for removal. Others had actinic keratoses which required GP treatment, so this was a day that was not just fun but impactful, and certainly worth the checks and a good enough reason to repeat such an event.”

Location, location

The venue was a careful choice and had to provide not just a challenging day, but at the right price, making the day work financially. Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate ticked all the boxes, not only having a wonderful course but is also a well-appointed hospitality area which allowed us to create a seamless pathway.  Whilst their team was really helpful, it is always important not to simply assume all will be as your vision. Working closely to confirm each element meant we avoided major issues on the day, allowing us to focus on making the day enjoyable.

Vital elements

When it came to the nuts and bolts, we dotted the schedule with engaging elements, providing interest, education, fun, and the opportunity for players to challenge themselves personally as well as compete as a team.

We set the scene on arrival by offering players a luxury event programme, providing a keepsake, all relevant information, as well as showcasing our sponsors.  Next was an efficient registration and leader board system using Golf Genius, which allowed us to communicate with teams before, during, and after the event, as well as keeping the scoring visible and clear.

Golfers were treated to a ‘sustain’ goodie bag, containing a sleeve of golf balls, courtesy of Golf South, Belle & Wilde brownies, Lush toiletries, Lifejacket sunscreen, and treats from The Snaffling Pig Co., a bottle of water, as well as the usual charity merchandise. The next step was a ‘good coffee’ (SO important) with the trusted bacon roll.

Roll up for the raffle

We carefully sourced items from local businesses and our golfing contacts to offer an expansive raffle, with prizes such as; fourballs from Chartham Park, Minchinhampton, Grange and Mullion golf clubs, designer haircuts and dresses, fine dining at The Warren and Random Hall, golf bags from PING, chocolates from Hotel Chocolat., golf goodies from The Open Championships, to massages and beauty treatments, toys from Whirligg, fine wine from Secret Cellar and Majestic, sporting goods from Intersport, Jewellery vouchers, M&S vouchers, leather goods from G.Collins, the Crown Jewellers… and more.  We ensured we had items that tempted everyone to take part.

Getting in the swing

Taking the fun outside, we organised a putting competition to win a SIK putter, compliments of YUMAX Golf, golf darts (to keep it light) and offered mulligans and a superball on the first tee with Jeremy Dale taking the shots – nobody could resist that one.

Pivotal was the experience of the fantastic 18 hole Waterfall course, with the opportunity to take it at a good pace. We provided challenges around each hole, such as beat the pro on the 5th with Paul Way, nearest the pin on the 4th, sponsored by GingerMay, on the 8th sponsored by YUMAX Golf, and on the 11th sponsored by Oak Compliance Marketing.

The longest drive on the 18th was sponsored by Warners Solicitors, with prizes from TaylorMade. Each marker was supplied out courtesy of Golf Marker Systems 2014 Ltd. helping us support our other generous sponsors, including, G.Collins (1st and 18th hole) and HCB Solicitors (4th hole)

Each element of the day was recorded by Oak Compliance Marketing, and their team are currently busy editing a film to be used to promote the day, act as a thank you to sponsors and also encourage involvement for next year.

Refreshing the point

Pimm’s and smiles were served at the halfway house and on arrival back at the clubhouse, teams were greeted with ‘Freshen Up’ goodie bag, compliments of Fenwick’s, Tunbridge Wells, containing a generous selection of luxury toiletries from Kiehl’s, YSL, Clarins and Dior.

With clubs stored, everyone was offered a chilled glass of Mannings Estate Cuvee on the sun-drenched Terrace, whilst being entertained (and utterly bewildered) by the extraordinary magician, Adam Smith. On the return of all teams, we then headed on down to watch The Jeremy Dale Golf Show on the first tee, an interactive experience that had seasoned golfers clapping in awe.

Following this, a quick check on raffle success, and then straight up to the beautifully appointed Campbell room for supper. The evening’s entertainment included a question and answer session on Ryder Cup success with Jeremy Dale and Paul Way, set in front of a heaving prize winners table, with the substantial Harry Townsend Memorial Trophy dominating the room.”

And the winners were:

Congratulations to all our talented competition winners on the day, however for the three main prizes well done to the following teams:
1st PRIZE Sponsored by YUMAX Golf 
• Harry Townsend Memorial Trophy
• Four Edge Watches
• Four bottles of Liquid Diamond prosecco (courtesy of Beyond Wines Ltd)
• Four Adidas golf caps
Winners: Team Yumax: Ben Davis, Ali Gill, Andrew Smith, Rhys Western

2nd PRIZE Sponsored by Bluebell Vineyards and TaylorMade
• Four bottles of Hindleap Seyval Blanc 2015
• Four TaylorMade New Era golf caps
Winners: Foresters Faders: Angela Low, Derek Beaney, Jack Shiers, Martyn Taylor

3rd PRIZE Sponsored by Blazer Financials Solutions Partners Ltd
• Four bottles of Liquid Diamond prosecco
• Four TaylorMade New Era golf caps
Winners: Team Doom: David Foster, Patrick Cleus, Rory Turner, Theo Quarendon

Our teams were made up of local players, golf professionals, and industry specialists, such as YUMAX Golf, MediaDrive, Albatross Digital, 59Club, and Golf Genius. We even had a media team representing Golf Today, Golf Monthly, Golf Shake, and The Social Golfer all who have agreed to cover the story, with this already out HERE

We are delighted that the day was well-received, and the following this were delighted to receive some great feedback:

“The best golf day I have ever been to”
“I want to say how much of a great day I had on Wednesday – it was absolutely brilliant.”
“Well done, a fab day and I really enjoyed it”
“It was a fantastic day! I cannot wait to write the charity golf days piece for this”
“Congratulations on organising such a great day”.
“…thanks again for one of the best Golf Days I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in. Top draw!”
“Just wanted to say well done on the golf day, was really well run and thoroughly enjoyed it. Put us down for next year and we are 100% in to support again.”
“Great job and great fun.”

What have we learned?

As a publican’s daughter and an ex-PR, I understand the importance of the personal touch, reaching out for help, delegation, careful planning, research, and finally, genuinely enjoying the day yourself. It is also important to remember to give as well as take. Although the aim of the day was to raise awareness and donations for the Melanoma Fund, it was also about investing in people and showcasing who we are as a charity, setting foundations for next year.

We have been running our Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign for three years and as a newbie to golf, I remain totally inspired by this industry. It is filled with people who really do know how to contribute, network, and make things happen. It’s a powerful force that breeds success.”

So what did they learn?

As well as providing lots of sunscreen, we provided advice, we hope our teams take with them into the future. Say’s Dr. Elizabeth Blakeway;

“The opportunity to provide skin checks and education was both a pleasure and necessity given the significant UV exposure encountered by the golfing fraternity. Our ‘on-the-day’ survey of skin habits highlighted insufficient adherence to sun safety and self-skin surveillance indicating that events such as this are absolutely necessary in terms of raising awareness. My top tips are as within the Slip! Slap! Swing! guidelines, which are:

  • Use broad-spectrum SPF30+ sun protection before heading out on the course, particularly between the months of March and October (regardless of whether ‘it’s sunny), and don’t forget to reapply after the 9th hole!
  • Ensure to carry out monthly self-skin checks in a full-length mirror highlighting any new or changing skin lesions to your GP.

Finally, a big thank you to those that completed our survey and well done to all those who attended for a skin check with the doctors on the day”

Thank you!

I would just like to thank the volunteer team for giving up their time to make this special; Dr. Lizzie Blakeway-Manning, Dr. Jan von der Werth, Cheryl Muggeridge, Rob Williams, Kev Jefcoate, Julie Wilson, and Charlie Whelpton, plus Amelia Aves for all her hard work in the planning and on the day. Special thanks to Paul Way and to Toby Graves from TPG Sports Events for holding my hand, and helping me keep my head together!

What’s next?

With regards to Slip! Slap! Swing! we will be promoting our Skin Savvy campaign in late autumn, raising awareness of the importance of skin checking via our Sun Protection Accredited golf clubs. If you haven’t got your golf club involved, please do sign up to get accredited HERE.

We have already started planning our 2022 activity, which will most certainly involve a few more golf days. We are in talks with TPG Sports Events, and are looking at ideas which we promise will be even bigger and better. So…who’s in?

For further information on the Melanoma Fund and the Slip Slap! Swing! campaign visit

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